Happy Spring!!! I have many things to celebrate on this exceptionally warm Vernal Equinox.
Having just returned from a trip to Montana to see my son I am happy to report that he is thriving out in the wild, wild west and has even put on some weight. Many interesting agri-political stories from that trip. I will share later.
The woodcocks are back at the edges of our fields and we saw a mourning cloak butterfly the other day at Shleppinghurst.
And speaking of Shleppinghurst it looks like there is going to be no mud season this year so we will be able to open the garden for visitors in April.
As a celebration of this anniversary I thought about reposting my favorite essays but something even better was in my inbox this evening.
It is often said that Maine could feed itself, except for grains. That’s what you hear every time the topic of self-sufficiency in this state comes up. “Yep, we produce enough food to feed ourselves, except for bread.” At that point someone, usually me, pipes up with “But we used to be the breadbasket of the Northeast. Surely we could become that again.” Then the back and forth starts about only being able to grow grains on a large scale in the prairie states (like Montana, more on that later). Well it’s all hooey! We can grow enough grain to feed ourselves. Amber Lambke and Michael Scholz are well on their way to proving that up in Skowhegan. The co-founders of Maine Grains have been working for several years to get a gristmill up and running at the historic Somerset County Jail. For, you see, the problem is not so much about growing the grain as getting it processed on any sort of commercial scale. Their project, “Flour with the Flavor of Home” is now on Kickstart. Which, if you don’t know what that is, you should so go to this link and find out! It is a truly original way for small (at least small in this megaplex, billionaire, Malwart, world we live in) projects to get noticed and get funded.
I met Amber at the Kneading Conference in Skowhegan a couple of years ago and she is a dynamo if anyone can make a grist mill in central Maine a reality it is she. This is the right project at the right time and they need your help. I urge you all to go to that link and pledge what you can. This is it folks. The essence of local food. Put your money where your mouth is and help get this project off the starting blocks.
Oh and Happy Birthday Populist Farmer! I knew we could do it!!!